Moores: Ballance must bat at number three


Former England coach Peter Moores feels batsman Gary Ballance should come back into the Three Lions' Test team for the upcoming four-match series in South Africa, and bat at number three.

The Zimbabwe-born Ballance was dropped during the Ashes series earlier this year after a lean run of form in the home Tests against New Zealand and Australia, but the left-handed Yorkshire player has been recalled in the squad to play the Proteas.

Experienced batsman Ian Bell has been left out for the South Africa tour and Moores, who had two previous stints as England coach, believes Ballance should come in at the fall of the first wicket.

The 26 year-old Ballance had wonderful start to his Test career, notching up four centuries in his first 11 games before he was left out. He currently has a Test batting average of 47.76 after 15 matches.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Moores said of Ballance: "I think he plays. I would bat him at three. I think he has been very unlucky to be left out. He is different. Technically, he looks different.

"I think that caused a lot of debate among people who were not sure about him. But you can't get away from the lad's record. He has played 15 Test matches, scored four hundreds, won the ICC young Test match player of the year.

"I think he has been toughly dealt with. England have struggled to get stability at the top. He is not the sort of player who catches the eye the same as a Ben Stokes, because he does not crash the ball, but we need some stability

"We have seen over the time, you need all sorts of players, some that will set things up and others that will add things on top.

"I would play Gary at three and that will hopefully get rid of the new ball and give the middle order a chance to build on top of that."

The first Test between South Africa and England starts in Durban on Boxing Day.